“A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” –Lao Tzu

I’ve been struggling lately to give full credit to Charlie and his latest accomplishments. When he was a baby, I recounted every detail because they were all victories–all things we were never sure he would do.

These days things feel less urgent. Charlie sees, he crawls, he even sits. He eats with his mouth and drinks thin liquids. He listens, he responds, he plays independently. In many ways, the scariest of the scaries are past us. I mean, there’s plenty of lingering scaries, but nothing that keeps me up at night.

But it does feel a little weird to list all the tiny accomplishments that fill me with joy–as if I’m making a big deal out of the trivial.

But I’ve realized that these “trivial” moments all add up to the big ones. And why not savor the little moments? Why rush through or sweep under the rug the dozens of tiny inchstones we work so hard for?

So, without further ado, here are a few of our latest victories.

  • Charlie asks for help–he’ll either grab your hand or hit you to get your attention.
  • He can sit in chairs. It’s not fantastic, but he can sit next to me in a waiting room and doesn’t need to be held.
  • If I hold his wrist, he can point with his left hand. Personally, I think he could do it without me, but he doesn’t want to try.
  • He can now slurp–sounds small, but it’s a big jump as far as drinking goes–he used to just dump water in his mouth.
  • He can rotate while seated on the floor.
  • He holds his head very straight when riding in his chair.
  • He looks up at the waitress when we eat out.

And now for the big one that feels more like a milestone than an inch: yesterday I got Charlie to answer questions about his family using the iPad. He knew who was a boy, who was a girl, who he eats breakfast with, and who loves him. Today he’s showing me that he knows how to close the communication app ASAP, but I saw a glimmer of the future there–one where he can tell me what he thinks and feels. I’m breathless with the possibilities.

One japanese magnolia bloom



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  1. Those are absolutely amazing. My freind’s daughter, had severe CP. Joy once said that the one thing that changed their lives was the Dynavox. It opened up her world and therefore, made life a whole lot easier.

    • I am really hoping that he will start to like the idea of using it–I love to think of all the possibilities once he really decides to use it.

  2. Ruth Evans says:

    Hooray Charlie! What wonderful victories! I had tears in my eyes as you said he could tell you who loves him. That is what every parent wants to hear. Beautiful picture. I guess it is already spring there. Keep reporting on his inchstones,we are all cheering for Charlie.

    • Yes, well, March is when Spring arrives around here for the most part. We might get a cold snap or two, but even those will be much milder. When I lived farther north, I didn’t understand why it was still cold in March.

  3. candace says:

    Hey Katy! We can’t ever negate those accomplishments! Dance your head off over those little things! I believe that one of the biggest gifts I have received, being Faith’s mom, is learning how to celebrate those tiny achievements and making a ridiculous deal out of them all! Faith knows that mommy acts like an idiot whenever she learns something new! Go Charlie we are sooooooo proud of those things!

    • I think that’s true–I sometimes wonder if parents of typical children realize how much they’re missing.

  4. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing all these biggies and the little ones too. Love the photo at the end. So sums up your beautiful boy.

  5. This is a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  6. No achievements are ever too small to celebrate. What a great list.

  7. I remember when E was able to sit in a chair without falling (in any/all directions). That was HUGE! Thanks for sharing your inchstones–I think they ARE a big deal. And excited for more communication! Yay for Charlie! Congratulations to all of you!

  8. Those things sound pretty wonderful to me! Definitely worth celebrating!

  9. ALL accomplishments are HUGE! Charlie is making wonderful progress.

  10. In the group that I belonged to – moms with kids with special needs that received ABR – the one thing all kids wanted to do more than anything else was communicate. It’s a huge step…

    • Ahhh. . . if only I could convince Charlie is it’s huge-ness. He wants me to read his mind. Also, he’s easily bored–I’ve got to keep challenging him or he’ll lose interest.

  11. This makes my heart happy. I looooove the idea of Charlie being able to tell you things. If I could hug you I totally would!

  12. Yay for the little things!

  13. GO BABY!!!!

  14. It’s sort of like watching time-lapse photography, huh? You see each nuanced step, and it’s kind of cool like that.

    • That is such a cool way of looking at it–yes, it’s just like that. I don’t just see the finished product, I see every step along the way.

  15. Love that last sentence Katy. I’m so glad you’re filled with hope for your boy. Lovely photo too. :)

    • I thought of you as I was running around taking pictures of all the new blooms in the yard–got a couple of Camellia shots as well.

  16. *smiling* and not surprised.

    • Well, you’ve been at this longer than I have–I thought this was years away.

      • Seems even practice with only 140 characters has not given me power over words. I really meant to compliment your loving care and home education and therapy with Charlie. I mean, I think it makes a difference.

        • Well, gosh! Thank you so much. We do what we can, which often doesn’t feel like enough. I suspect that’s motherhood in general, though.

  17. Great news!!! And I’m sure you’re going to have many more victories to write about. Charlie will definitly be able to communicate with you one day about everything! It’s a good thing that he’s trying to show you what he wants or needs. Just keep up the good work and keep encouriging him!
    I also admire his ability to sit on his own, that’s great!

    • Oh, yes–that sit is more helpful than you could imagine.

      I do hope Charlie will keep at it with the communication–it’s really exciting.

  18. Glad to read good news.
    Please continue to update us.
    Hugs to Charlie!

  19. Oh my Katy! That’s the most fantastic news I’ve heard in awhile, it’s even made me tear up!

    • I know. It’s really great–now I just have to keep it interesting so he’ll keep working at it.

  20. Love the inchstones!

  21. We’re all cheering Charlie on! He IS breathtaking!

  22. I believe in these so much these inchstones eventually reach that mile and then it is a milestone that is reached.

    He is doing great!! Awesome
    Yeah to you too Mommy.